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Updated on March 12, 2013
Prepping for a race is no run in the park. After you throw down some major cash to register, that’s when the fun really begins. But before you get all wrapped up in the nuances of daily training, tapering, carb-loading and hydration, be sure you’re feet are properly equipped.
Some runners wear specific shoes to train and break out lower, lighter shoes for the big day. Others simply run races in their daily trainer and find just as much success. The most important thing is to pinpoint the exact shoe you’ll wear on race day, and give yourself enough time to break it in. Keep in mind that breaking in a shoe doesn’t mean you simply wear it around the house the day before the race. You should run in it several times prior to be sure it fits comfortably without blisters or other foot pains. Because nobody wants an unexpected surprise on race day. Well, unless that surprise is first place.
For short distances such as a 5K, wear a lighter shoe that’s maybe even a little lower to the ground. This will assist in picking up the speed. If you are running a half or full marathon, look to shoes with more cushioning. Your feet need the extra support with every extra mile. The most important part is that your feet feel comfortable and remain injury-free up through the race.
Here are a few of our favorite styles to break out on race day.
The Mizuno Wave Musha is a lightweight racer designed to correct overpronation.
For neutral runners looking to move fast, Saucony Type A provides a sliver of cushion and a smooth ride.
Built off of a spike last, the New Balance 1400 is a fierce racing flat that’s not messing around.
From Asics speed collection, the GEL-DS Trainer has just a touch of stability.
Become a midfoot striker with the Brooks PureConnect, built for those with a neutral stride.
With a grippy outsole and light stability, the Saucony Fastwitch turns you into a speed racer.
Selected as a Runner’s World Editor’s Choice, Brooks Ghost nicely balances cushion and responsiveness.
Asics created the GEL-Nimbus to preserve your stride mile after magnificent mile. This shoe was also selected by Runner’s World as an Editor’s Choice.
The Pearl Izumi Streak is lightweight enough to take on a 5K, yet it has enough cushioning for a marathon.
What race-day shoes do you recommend?